AS ESG investments have take the finance world by storm, the head of the International Stock Exchange Group has warned that that growing interest demands vigilance against 'greenwashing'.
Fiona Le Poidevin said the Governance's annual conference in Guernsey that recent climate change protests in London and the campaign led by schoolgirl Greta Thunberg were a sign that green investments are here to stay.
She encouraged companies to focus on accountability, transparency and responsibility in their environmental, social and governance reporting and said that much more capital was needed to address such issues, local news outlet Guernsey Press reported.
With climate activism increasing and the ESG market evolving, companies that are not paying close attention risk being left behind"
She also warned that there was a lack of consistency globally in terms of governmental and regulatory responses to ESG and that companies are focusing on environmental issues more than on the social or governance side.
Simon Osborne, chief executive of ICSA, said: "This year's conference has been of great use in flagging up to Guernsey's governance practitioners some of the issues that businesses will be faced with in the future.
"With climate activism increasing and the ESG market evolving, companies that are not paying close attention risk being left behind.
‘Similarly, it is vitally important that boards consider the ethical impact of technological advancements that allow such things as personal profiling.
In a response to the surge of interest in ESG investing over the past few years, CFA UK is set to launch a new qualification in ESG investing for investment professionals later this year, recognised and supported by the PRI.
The new 'Certificate in ESG Investing' will be the first formal qualification on ESG investing available sector-wide to investment professionals in the UK. It aims to provide investors with better education, guidance, and standards around the subject.
Click here to subscribe to International Investment's free twice-daily newsletter